From Sile Lane, about Rothamsted this Sunday

A message from Sile Lane (Sense About Science):

Many of you have asked how you can personally show your support for the GM wheat scientists at Rothamsted Research who face the destruction of their trial site by Take the Flour Back this Sunday. The team of scientists will be at Rothamsted Park, Harpenden AL5 2EF to answer questions from 11.30 on the day, where the protesters are apparently planning to gather. This is where you can show your support, but please do NOT attempt to go to join the anti-GM activists in moving to the trial site itself, for obvious reasons.

It is regrettable that the Green Party’s Jenny Jones has confirmed that she will be there to support direct action against publicly-funded research, particularly given that the wheat trial is expressly aimed at reducing the use of broad-spectrum insecticides which can damage farmland biodiversity.

Meanwhile, hundreds of you responded to the call to email Take the Flour Back with your request that they should call the protest off. To date no response has been received, so we can only assume that the attempt at a “mass decontamination” that the group has proposed will go ahead as planned.

Best wishes,

Síle Lane



  1. says

    I’m not a fan of GMOs (and I don’t want that discussion now), but to destroy their trial site is way off. Protest GMOs, write to your MP, buy stuff that’s not a GMO but since you can’t reasonably claim that a trial site endangers health and environment to suc a degree, violence is completely not justified.

  2. says

    I have just received the following email from London Skeptics in the Pub. It might be of interest to anyone thinking of going to Rothamsted tomorrow:


    Dear Bernard Hurley

    Just a quick note for folks who are thinking of, or are attending the
    counter protest against the needless vandalism of publicly funded
    research being conducted at Rothamsted Park tomorrow in Harpenden.

    Mark Henderson has put his chapter on GM in The Geek Manifesto online,
    if you’d like some further reading:

    It looks like it’ll be a nice sunny day for a protest, or failing
    that, a picnic.

    Please remember that this is a PEACEFUL protest, and Rothamsted would
    prefer no protests – for or against (
    ) – taking place tomorrow.

    Jules, from Geek in the Gambia has written a blogpost on directions
    and guidlines for the counter-protest and directions to the site here:

    National Rail from Bedford to Brighton (there are some engineering
    works from certain stations on Sunday, so please check before
    travelling). For those of you in London, trains depart from London St
    Pancras. Trains are every half-hour and take about 30mins to get
    Return ticket will cost £12.70

    If you’re wondering who to look out/gravitate towards, The Pod
    Delusion will be there; So look out for James O’Malley and Liz
    Lutgendorff. Dr Evan Harris will be there, along with a band of trusty

    As always, take some sensible shoes, a hat, some sunblock, drink
    plenty of liquids and remember to dispose of your litter sensibly.
    We’re no ruffians.


    P.S. I’ll be at Conway Hall for CaSE Director Imran Khan’s lecture,
    but hope to join you all after we’re done.
    Details of future meetings can be found on

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